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[Exclusive] Pioneer Crypto Exchange in the Philippines Withdraws Crypto License

Photo for the Article - [Exclusive] Pioneer Crypto Exchange in the Philippines Withdraws Crypto License
  • Rebittance Inc., a subsidiary of SCI Ventures, has voluntarily withdrawn its VASP license, ceasing its operations as a licensed crypto exchange in the Philippines.
  • Co-Founder Miguel Cuneta disclosed an unfulfilled acquisition deal with Genesis Block; the deal fell through after the Hong Kong company ceased trading services amid the fallout of FTX. 
  • Other Rebittance co-founders Jardine Gerodias and John Bailon are still active in the crypto scene, while Cuneta serves as an investor and advisor to web3 firms.

The Philippines’ central bank recently published a new Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) list, revealing a surprising update: Rebittance Inc., a subsidiary of Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI) Ventures, is no longer a licensed crypto exchange in the Philippines. 

Rebittance Inc., recognized as one of the first notable crypto companies in the country, and responsible for early successful crypto products Rebit.ph and BuyBitcoins.ph, has voluntarily ceased operations.

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Rebittance Inc. Ends Operations

In a statement sent to BitPinas, the company’s co-founder, Miguel Cuneta revealed that the company has not been operating since 2021. He also disclosed an unfulfilled acquisition deal with Genesis Block; the deal fell through after the Hong Kong company ceased trading services amid the fallout of FTX. 

In a statement, Cuneta elaborated, “Rebittance Inc. stopped renewing its VASP license and returned its existing certificate of registration to the BSP in 2023. This is due to the fact that it has not been operating since Jan 2021 and Rebittance management decided at the end of 2022 that it will not be resuming operations in the future. Therefore, it has no need to continue being a covered institution or MSB. This was done voluntarily.”

Alameda Venture Capital’s Ill-Fated Involvement

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An article from the Financial Times in late December 2022 linked Rebittance Inc. to the FTX group’s venture capital fund, Alameda Venture Capital. 

The FTX group, including the FTX crypto exchange and Alameda Research, a brokerage firm, all imploded in November 2022 after revelations of discrepancies in its balance sheet, composed mostly of its own tokens, as well as charges of misuse of customer funds. 

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is now under house arrest awaiting trial amid criminal charges. 

Genesis Block Acquisition Talks Fell Through

In the said document, Rebittance’s valuation was $5 million, and the investing entity was Genesis Block, a well-established crypto over-the-counter service in Hong Kong with ties to FTX. The discussions, which took place in 2021-2022, ultimately did not progress to finalization.

“Rebittance was in acquisition talks with Genesis Block (along with many other exchanges from all over the world) in 2021-2022 but the deal ultimately did not push through in the final stages,” Cuneta explained. “Rebittance did not deal with Alameda during this time. If I remember correctly, that ‘article’ was based on an Excel sheet and could mean anything internally in that organization. Rebittance is still currently wholly owned by SCI Ventures Inc., which can be verified in its SEC documents.”

That the company was in talks with Genesis Block since 2021 meant the discussion started long before any anomalies from the FTX group were revealed to the public. It should be noted that various reports suggested that only a handful of FTX personnel, which included Sam Bankman-Fried, have knowledge of the company irregularities.

Rebittance Inc.

SCI Ventures subsidiary Rebittance Inc. received its crypto license in the country in November 2017 alongside Coins.ph. At the time, they were the only two licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in the Philippines. 

Photo for the Article - [Exclusive] Pioneer Crypto Exchange in the Philippines Withdraws Crypto License

The company had multiple products that found a market fit in the Philippines: Bitbit Wallet, a crypto wallet; Rebit.ph, a remittance service; and BuyBitcoin.ph

The company also had “Bitcoin Prepaid Wallets”, which are similar to prepaid load credits that users scratch to reveal a pin that will give access, in this instance, to the corresponding Bitcoin denomination.

prepaid bitcoin card smart tnt sun mobile philippines
Bitcoin Prepaid Cards, a product of Rebittance Inc.

The products were discontinued amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, before the company decided to close the business entirely in 2022.

As of this writing, Cuneta said he is now an investor and advisor to crypto and web3 firms. While co-founders of SCI, Jardine Gerodias and John Bailon, remain active in the scene, having co-founded Stanible, a local NFT app currently gaining popularity for its NFT ticketing services.

This article is published on BitPinas: Pioneer Crypto Exchange in the Philippines Withdraws Crypto License

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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